As Uber slowly gains popularity in the northwest Bronx, residents have started to observe vehicles with the app-based transportation company idling in metered parking spots on Riverdale Avenue just north of the intersection with West 238th Street. Livery cabs have been seen waiting for fares — and ignoring meter fees — as well.
“They’re not causing any trouble, but they’re taking up parking spaces,” said West 238th street resident Jim Grossman. “They’re allowed to park there, but it’s wrong.”
Mr. Grossman started noticing Uber and livery cab vehicles idling near his home earlier this year. Most days when you open the app, there are about four Uber drivers throughout Riverdale. On Riverdale Avenue near West 238th Street, some of the drivers are affiliated with Uber, with many others coming from a livery cab company called Seaman Radio Dispatchers Inc.
While idling on Riverdale Avenue on Monday afternoon, Seaman driver Roman de la Cruz explained he sometimes parks there because he can find a good Internet signal in the area.
He added that he and other drivers used to sometimes idle on West 238th Street, but the superintendent from a building on that road asked them to stay off street parking used by his tenants.
“He gave me complaints a lot of times,” Mr. de la Cruz said.
Julio Bena, a Seaman driver parked on Riverdale Avenue south of West 238th Street, said he and his colleagues park wherever they legally can while they wait for a dispatcher to send them to fares. Mr. Bena said it is rare for him to sit longer than five or 10 minutes and claimed he has not had any issues with police or other drivers while sitting in his car.
Mr. Grossman said he has observed as many as five drivers at a time parked along Riverdale Avenue north of West 238th Street.
He said during street cleaning hours on Oct. 7, he approached a cab parked in the vicinity. Mr. Grossman asked the driver to park elsewhere in order to comply with street cleaning that was underway. The concerned resident claimed the driver refused not only his request, but also a that of a traffic officer, who nevertheless elected not to ticket the parked driver.